Thursday, October 13, 2011
SAN DIEGO Occupy San Diego began with a spirited march through downtown San Diego last Friday night.
The event highlighted the general discontent people are feeling about the nation’s economic and political situation. U.C. San Diego Sociology professor Issac Martin said it is interesting that the protesters share a lot of the same grievances.
“They’re upset about a lot of the same things, even though they don’t necessarily share a lot of the same solutions," said Martin. "That’s actually allowed many more people to see themselves in the movement and come join it. Then necessarily would’ve come if from the start the movement had a very clear policy demand.”
The march became an encampment in the plaza outside San Diego City Hall this past weekend.
Protester Frank Gormlie pointed at the tents, sleeping bags and signs all competing for space in the concrete square.
“And so you look around you, everything here is the result of a consensus process which is at the core of this movement," Gormlie said.
Gormlie was impressed at how the kids, as he calls them, put things together.
“We have all the things a little village has," said Gormlie. "We have a medical tent, two libraries, We have a free food line. We have a media tent. We have energy. Legal. So we have set up a little budding community within the cauldron of City Hall.”
And that little community gets hungry, several times a day, keeping volunteers at the food tent busy.
“Every race, creed, political affiliation, everybody just getting along," said Brent Burris. "You know, they’re here for the greater good. And it’s a beautiful thing.”
Sociology Professor Issac Martin said he’s impressed with the congenial relationship between the protesters and the authorities, but it remains tough to tell how long the occupation will last.
See more on the Occupy San Diego protest on Thursday's show.
Evening Edition airs weekdays at 6:30 PM on KPBS TV
“There’s no sort of fixed duration for these things so there’s no way to predict how long it will last because it depends very much on how people react to the movement,” said Martin.
At some point people will drift away as the demands of their daily lives move up on their priority list, according to Martin.
Occupy San Diego is starting out a lot like the Tea Party movement did, and Martin said it could become an enduring political movement.